A few days ago our dinner conversation was about my grown daughter sharing a discussion she had with her co-workers about the possibility of Bigfoot. Her co-workers found it amazing that there is a reality show on the air about searching for Bigfoot, and even more astonished that it has a following. Obviously, they are not Bigfoot believers. The reason she was amused is because she views us “God” believers in the same way. How can people say that about Bigfoot and then go to church on Sunday.
I remained silent. I felt she was enticing me to a debate. Her teenage brother interrupted in mocking southern drawl “Sister, you’re going to hell, and may God save your soul”. Both giggled and glanced shyly at me. I just smiled and bit my tongue. Some of my friends would say that was a great opening for a discussion, but I felt the need to remain quiet. I wanted to enjoy this rare moment with my daughter and son sharing a meal and not inject my opinion. I can imagine what my friends would say. Why aren’t you defending God? Are you not worried about your children’s soul? So Lord, did I miss an opportunity? Are my children going to hell?
I can feel the burden of keeping my writings politically correct and thinking of those friends and the public. I am back to that question I have been asking myself all week. Who am I writing for? The public? My children? Myself? I will write from my heart and allow God to guide my fingers. (I can see my children rolling their eyes at this)
I think back to when I was the age of my daughter, already a mother and with baby number two on its way. I remember who that person was and who I am now, that is the proof I need of God’s existence. I can’t convey this to my children. My pursuit of God might not differ from those who pursue a legend. It’s in the pursuit that changes a person. I am sure the Bigfoot believers are being changed as they hunt for something that may or may not exist. Is that a bad thing? It seems that we are made to believe in something, to pursue something bigger than us. They choose Bigfoot and I choose God.
I look back over those years of “being lost” and it saddens me, all that wasted time. I want to save my children from that and tell them that now I see God in creation. I hear Him and I feel Him. When I open myself up to Him, I can feel him coursing through my veins. The energy that is generated by this openness healed the old wounds that had festered and oozed for the majority of my life. There lies the truth of His existence. Although this is not going to prove it to my children any more than a broken branch in the wild is going to prove Bigfoot exists.
That is why it is called faith, to believe in a God that cannot be proven to others. It is that opening of that door and exploring the possibility of a higher power. When I took that first step of faith, it gave me the hope I needed to survive this life, with all its prejudice and pain. It gave me a clear direction when before all I did was wandered lost. And I know as I write these words on the page I am talking in riddles and parables like the Bible does. I know for people who want concrete proof of God existence will find this unacceptable. That I sound like a walking poem or a jabbering idiot in love for the first time. Maybe that is it, I am in love with God!
God does complete me. I had lived with a void inside that grew wider with each passing year. A hollow echoing cavern within my center that became cold and lifeless. My heart was turned to stone, making me hard and brittle. And upon the death of my first child, I shattered into a million pieces. It was just a mere thought of reaching out to God during this time that gave me a glimmer of hope. It was when I focused on that small pinprick of light in a time of great darkness that I felt the pull of Him. He breathed life into this dying soul and put the pieces back together. That journey with God through my deep dark sadness has changed me forever. That is the God I want to portray to my children.
I can see my children shaking their heads at this, like they do for those who believe in Bigfoot and I can feel my frustration increase. And I can feel myself wanting to say those dreaded words that turn so many off to Christians, “Just Believe”! But I know the walls will go up and they might be lost to me forever. They need to be guided carefully towards that path. There have been Christians in their lives that have made them turn around and run in the opposite direction. I refuse to be one of those people. I will smile as if I have a secret and they will wonder what it is. I will live for the day when they come to me and ask me about my journey. To tell them the story, like I did when they were younger. I want to tell them a story with a happy ending. A story about a baby whose birth taught me to love as a mother and upon his death, taught me an even greater love of God.
I don’t know for sure what happens to a soul upon death. I have faith that it resides with God, but I do not have distinct proof of that. I do have proof of what happens to a soul here on earth when one believes in God. I am that proof. For I was lost and now I am found and I was blind and now I see.